- Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been called out for allocating huge funds, GH¢1.4 billion, to the Contingency Vote
- The Contingency Vote is an allocation the minister may draw from for emergency projects without further Parliamentary approval
- According to NDC MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the hefty allocation is sleazy and scandalous and shows the current administration has not learnt from the economic crisis that has caused by unrestrained government spending
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Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been accused of "scandalously" allocating more than GH¢1 billion of the 2023 budget funds into Contingency Vote.
According to opposition legislator for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the minister has indicated in the 2023 budget statement and economic policy of the Nana Akufo-Addo government that a whopping GH¢1.4 billion into the fund.
The Contingency Vote is an allocation the minister may draw from for contingency or emergency projects without further Parliamentary approval.
It emerged during the censure motion brought against the finance minister that he drew over GH¢339 million from the vote to fund the controversial national cathedral project.
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Ablakwa, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, has said the allocation to the Contingency Vote by Ken Ofori-Atta is more than twice the allocation to Parliament, which is about GH¢645.8 million.
"The scandalous Contingency Vote provision is also three times higher than the entire 2023 allocation to the Judiciary (including judicial service) which is GHS437.3million; the outrageous GHS1.4billion is also far higher than allocations to several ministries including National Security, Attorney General, Works and Housing, Communications, Railway Development, Chieftaincy, Employment, Transport, Fisheries, Lands and Natural Resources, Trade and Industry, Tourism, Environment, Energy, Foreign Affairs, Information and Parliamentary Affairs," the MP cried out in a post on Facebook.
He said the allocation of the GH¢1.4 billion is evidence that amid the economic challenges, the government of Nana Akufo-Addo escalating the economic mismanagement and high appetite for reckless expenditure.
"It is most unconscionable and unpardonably reckless in this period of economic crisis, austerity, haircuts and total freeze in public sector jobs for the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/Ofori-Atta government to massively increase allocation to the Contingency Vote from GHS993million in 2022 to a mind-boggling GHS1.4billion," he was worried.
He said the Minority in Parliament oppose the "outlandish Contingency Vote" allocation.
"This sleazy, sordid, shady, selfish and scandalous GHS1.4billion Contingency Vote allocation will only worsen ongoing labour agitations for better working conditions and lead to widespread justifiable refusal by the suffering Ghanaian people to burden share with a regime that is unhinged and irredeemable," Ablakwa stated.
Prof Stephen Adei Vouches For Integrity Of Embattled Finance Minister
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in separate story that a former Board Chair of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has vouched for the integrity of the embattled minister of finance.
Prof Stephen Adei has said Ofori-Atta has integrity more than 99% of politicians in Ghana.
The finance minister is facing intense pressure from some members of his party, the NPP and the opposition NDC for him to sacked from plunging the economy into a crisis.
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